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Colorectal cancer signs and symptoms
Colorectal cancer might not cause symptoms right away, but if it does, it may cause one or more of these symptoms:
A change in bowel habits, such as diarrhea, constipation, or narrowing of the stool, that lasts for more than a few days
A feeling that you need to have a bowel movement that is not relieved by doing so
Blood in the stool, which may make it look dark
Cramping or abdominal (belly) pain
Weakness and fatigue
Unintended weight loss
Colorectal cancers can often bleed into the digestive tract. While sometimes the blood can be seen in the stool or make it look darker, often the stool looks normal. But over time, the blood loss can build up and can lead to low red blood cell counts (anemia). Sometimes the first sign of colorectal cancer is a blood test showing a low red blood cell count.
Most of these problems are more often caused by conditions other than colorectal cancer, such as infection, hemorrhoids, or irritable bowel syndrome. Still, if you have any of these problems, it’s important to see your doctor right away so the cause can be found and treated, if needed.
Annual Screenings Necessary
Colon Cancer Prevention and Early Detection Key
Living a healthy lifestyle can help reduce your risk of colorectal cancer. But regular screening is also important. Testing can often find colon cancer early, when it’s most treatable, or sometimes even prevent it altogether.
We have partnered with the American Cancer Society in an effort to get our patients tested. if you have not been tested in the last 12 months, please ask your provider for a take home test.